The great thing about yoga is that is what I’ve gained from it (among other gifts), but it might have very well granted something different to each of you readers. Yoga can help us build upon our strengths, and develop areas that aren’t as strong for us, because it is malleable enough to be a different practice for each person. That is why there is a different place for each of us, in our yoga practice/instruction and otherwise. Yoga can also help us to find that place and stay there.
My distance from the latest technologies has had immeasurable benefits for my life, however, both personally and professionally. Those advantages are a large part of the reasoning for pratyahara, or sense withdrawal, one of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs. As I disconnected from an over-stimulating amount of sensory information from screens, the reduced amount that my senses then took in began to mean more for my overall subjective well-being. As the saying goes, less can be more.
When we are able to drop into our own heart with a feeling of deep compassion, we are more able to truly love ourselves unconditionally. This does not mean that we are completely off the hook for our own wrong doings! It simply means that we can offer ourselves the loving kindness and forgiveness that so many Yoga practitioners offer to others, both near and far. It is often more challenging to allow a feeling of soft compassion to arise in our own hearts for ourselves, than it is to feel compassion for those who are struggling 3000 miles away from us! When we are able to extend a feeling of compassion to ourselves, we are also freed from past mistakes and are more able to become independent of patterns of thinking and behavior that are no longer serving our highest good.
When you practice mantra meditation you are centering your core being. You are learning to calm your mind, focus your inner energy and put yourself at peace mentally and spiritually. With mediation practice you can become calmer, more focused and less stressed at everyday activities. It is important for everyone to know how to slow their bodies down and reconnect with their inner self on a regular basis. You will feel rejuvenated and more centered after mediation with mantras and will be able to go through your day more effectively and balanced.
Chanting mantras can be a rewarding and personal part of your practice. As you delve into the discovery of this aspect of yoga, you will find yourself drawn to specific mantras that you will want to share with your students.
Chanting mantras and the sacred names of Gods and Goddesses with the ragas is an important element of Kirtan singing in the context of a Yoga practice. The musical arrangements of the notes themselves deeply impact the chakras. There are a number of Kirtan musicians who have recorded a variety of devotional chants in a classical Yogic fashion.
Apart from injury prevention, yoga also helps the workers to become more creative and efficient. Yoga is known to harmonize the two sides of our brain. The left side of our brain is known to correspond to logical thought and the right side to creative thought. A harmony between the two leads to more creative and fruitful decisions.
When the weather permits, yoga outside in nature provides extra benefits. You may choose a spot at the beach, or find a public park. In a park, you can use a tree or a bench for balance if needed. If you are staying at a hotel, look for a quiet spot on the grounds where you can breathe in the fresh air or if staying with friends, a front porch or back patio can be the perfect spot for your practice.
In terms of Yoga practice, the internal process of self-reflection that leads to a visceral awareness of the essential divinity that lies within our own beings is similar to the process of peeling back layers of an onion. Many of our thoughts and beliefs are based on fundamental assumptions about ourselves and the world at large. These thoughts and beliefs are typically generated by our own life experiences and the effect that people have had on us through the years.
For some Yogis or Yoginis, the emphasis on finding and keeping an ideal romantic partner can bring up a deep sense of loss for a relationship that seemed so perfect in the beginning, but then became unsustainable as time went on. This deep longing for a perfect romantic partner, who offers us unconditional love and unquenchable support all the time, can propel many of us into less than ideal partnerships. When these partnerships dissolve, our hearts may feel deep grief and loss for months, or even years to come.